Victoria’s Secret’s first openly transgender model Valentina Sampaio has revealed that she wants to change the fashion industry’s “status quo” after experiencing prejudice when she started her career.
The 22-year-old model, whose psychologist identified her as transgender when she was just eight years old, revealed her association with Victoria’s Secret PINK range on Instagram earlier this month.
Her agent then confirmed that she had been hired for a Victoria’s Secret catalogue photoshoot that will be released later this month, making her the lingerie brand’s first openly transgender model.
In November 2018, the parent company’s chief marketing officer Ed Razek said that he does not think the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show should feature “transsexuals” in it.
At the time, he said: “It is a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is. It’s the only one in the world of its kind and any other brand in the world would get it instantly, including the competitors that criticise us.”
The day after Sampaio was hired, Razek resigned from his position, according to reports.
The new Victoria’s Secret Angel accompanied her Instagram announcement with the following message: “Never stop dreaming, people. Life is amazing. Love more, hate less. Hate is useless.”
She told the Spanish newspaper ‘El Mundo’ that she wants to “change the status quo, both in the fashion industry and in society”.
Despite her success, the Brazilian model believes trans women are still in a “begging” position and revealed that she “suffered prejudice when I started this career”.
When asked about Razek, Sampaio said: “I didn’t feel any joy with his departure. For me, it represents a victory for society. Not only for the trans community, but for anyone who feels underrepresented in the fashion industry.”
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